Empire of Perfect Unity
The Empire of Perfect Unity is a grand civilization bound together by the desire for order and harmony: a vast domain defined by a massive, towering wall that runs in an unbroken line across its entire northern border. To the South of the wall, in the Empire proper, everyone lives according teachings of the legendary Philosopher, Wong Fei. The teachings of this revered scholar demand conformity and social responsibility above all things. Indeed, social order within the Empire is rigidly enforced by warrior-judges known as Justicars, who also station members of their elite order—the Stone Lions—at the gates of the wall itself. Those who don’t fit in, and especially those who challenge the established order directly, are simply cast out.
North of the wall lies barbarians who reject the philosophy and rule of the Empire. These informally structured settlements are inhabited by exiles and the descendants of those who left the Empire. In recent years, a rebel group known as the Red Hand invaded the Empire and fomented a successful—though ultimately brief—rebellion. Incredibly, the pretender the rebels crowned as Empress eventually accepted the wisdom of the Philosopher, abdicating her bloody throne in favor of the old order. Now, the Empire has returned to its old ways with renewed fervor.
Wong Fei is said to have pioneered the Thirteen Harmonious Changes, as the magic of the Empire is known. For those outside the Empire, the Changes themselves can be learned in any order, but within the Empire only specifically licensed individuals are allowed to use magic, and even then they must learn the spells in a specific order, depending upon their status, else they face exile. The Empire’s magic focuses on preservation, protection, and order, and is grounded on fundamentally humanist principles (as are the teachings of the Philosopher). The rituals of the Harmonious Changes focus on quiet contemplation, the creation of organized systems, artistic expression according to culturally acceptable standards, and, fundamentally, law.
The people of the Empire of Perfect Unity reject conflict and seek doctrine over freedom. Every citizen knows the works of the Philosopher, and every person is knowledgeable about the past—at least the accepted accounting of the past as taught in the Empire’s many schools. As a result, characters from the Empire of Perfect Unity receive reduced cost for Scholarship. Furthermore, the people of the Empire focus their lives on fitting into a system and making that system work for them. The citizenry instinctively understands the flow of organized economics and bureaucracy, and thus they receive a reduced cost on Mercantile. Warriors from the Empire of Perfect Unity use an ancient long sword technique—perhaps older than the empire itself—known as the Scholar’s Sword Style, which focuses on deceptive counterstrikes and effortless, almost dancelike movements.
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